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This week, Whatsapp updated its terms of service and privacy policy, which will now allow the instant messaging app to share its user data with its parent firm Facebook, leaving users no choice otherwise. Considering the privacy concerns surrounding this policy, Elon Musk, who is now the richest person in the world, advised users to switch over to a lot more Privacy-centric ‘Signal’ app.

Coming to WhatsApp, users will have to accept these new terms by 8 February next month in order to continue using the Facebook-owned messaging platform. The popular messaging app informed its Android and iPhone users, through an app notification of the most notable changes in both the updated privacy policy and terms of service of how WhatsApp shares information with Facebook and its subsidiaries.

Source: The Hindu

Apart from changes on how the app handles and collects user data, there are new sections including Transactions, Payments Data, and Location Information to provide details on precise data collection by the app. The platform has also included specific information on business interactions taking place through its messaging app. Moreover, the new privacy policy notes: “The information we share with the other Facebook Companies includes your account registration information (such as your phone number), transaction data, service-related information, information on how you interact with others (including businesses) when using our Services, mobile device information, your IP address, and may include other information identified in the Privacy Policy section entitled ‘Information We Collect’ or obtained upon notice to you or based on your consent.”

Whilst all users expressed their concerns regarding the new policy as being quite breaching, Tesla CEO, Elon Musk suggested his followers with an alternative for the messaging platform. Musk through his official Twitter handle asked his followers to “Use Signal”. Signal is a messaging application that focuses on privacy.

Source: Business Insider

Signal has also previously been endorsed by Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey for being a lot safer and private. Whistleblower Edward Snowden has also claimed to use Signal on a daily basis. The platform has also been shared by various cybersecurity specialists and journalists.

Signal claims that it is an independent nonprofit. In further states on its website, “We’re not tied to any major tech companies, and we can never be acquired by one either. Development is supported by grants and donations from people like you.” The platform also claims to provide end-to-end encryption to its users.

 

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Rhea Sovani

Author Rhea Sovani

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